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Did you go to your closest secondary school?

More than half a million children, including the prime minister’s daughter Nancy, will find out today whether they have got into the secondary school of their choice.

Parents have been facing, in some cases, an agonising wait after visiting schools on open days and filling out the application forms.  Parents in England will begin to receive email notifications today, and letters later in the week, informing them which school their child will go to in September.

There is so much competition nowadays, to get into your preferred secondary school.  Each year the ground rules seem to change, so you can never be entirely sure which school is deemed your nearest school until all the applications have been evaluated.

The days when children simply went to their closest local school are over. Now parents pore over Ofsted results and can compare academies, free schools, religious schools and those under local authority control before making a decision. Faced with this education lottery, parents employ extreme techniques, such as moving house, to try and get their children into schools rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.

What are your views?  Are parents given too much choice?  Or is stating a preference not really choosing? Is it effective to get schools to improve and compete? Or should children simply attend their nearest school?

 

 

Did you go to your closest secondary school?

478 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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Notdeadyet
10th May 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree with 'nagonthenet' below, that if children went to their nearest school then the mix of abilities within schools would lessen the 'sink' schools and the schools with all the best pupils. Overall they would all improve. You would avoid the poorer performing schools being unable to attract better quality teachers. And also less traffic on the roads at peak times with the 'school run' as hopefully many more children would be able to walk to school, or at least catch a bus. I passed the 11+ to go to grammar school and went to what was the only one for girls at the time which was a little further away than the secondary modern. In this city at that time schools were not mixed.
nagonthenet
17th Apr 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
All this traffic at school time! Send them to the nearest school, if all levels go to the same school, very soon the standard will improve. Can't the Green Party endorse this? Less traffic = less pollution. At last a sensible policy for them.
petegeoff
27th Mar 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
It was normal to go to the nearest school 50 years ago.
Alihen
7th Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I had to walk nearly a mile to catch the bus to get to both primary and secondary school. In those days it was taken for granted that we would attend the nearest school. The only exception being those from well-off families who went to boarding school.
I see children now being driven from the next village to attend the primary school here and think that it is a piece of nonsense because they end up not knowing the children from their own village.
Then again, in those days the teachers lived locally as well and did not have to travel miles to get to the school which in turn meant that the school could remain open even if the roads were closed. It also meant that the teachers knew the background of most of the pupils and any potential problem that the pupil might have because of that home life.
6521254
6th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
My local school was a 1/2hr walk and we never had any other choice. My son has benefited from having a choice and enjoyed a good education at a school he chose and loved going to. Having his friends out of the area took more commitment from me but he just had a lot more sleepovers! Choice is good.
little owl
4th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I went to my nearest school which was a very good school and I walked there even though I was not a healthy child. Fresh air helps not hinders growth and it is also great exercise even if like me you live in an industrial area.
dianabarrie1940
4th Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I went to girls only private school
Valeryanne
3rd Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
Our Infants,Junior and Secondary school was all within walking distance,Secondary school was a girls only school,the year I left they merged with the boys school,I went into a machinist training unit making ladies two piece siuts for St Michael and Jaeger
When I was at school you automatically went to your closest school, invariably within walking distance for primary schools. After 11plus - high school, grammar school and technical school for those who passed and secondary school for those who didn't but who had a second opportunity at thirteen. This saves a great deal of stress and heartache at a time when young people should be enjoying their education.
Wilf
2nd Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
My kids in their 20s now had to get a school bus as we live in the countryside but it was the nearest school. I agree with nanalinda that its a good idea to go to a school as close as possible to your home town/village to get a community feeling
nagonthenet
2nd Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
How come everyone's whining about sustainability and cycling rather than using cars etc when kids are bussed all over the place to go to school. Should be the nearest one or no school at all or parents pay for private school.
If the nearest school is not up to it, it soon will be as a mix of intellects go there because they have to.
nanalinda
2nd Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Travelling some distance to school does not help to develop any feeling of responsibility or commitment to your comunity?
Wilf
2nd Mar 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
cream131
2nd Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I think it very important to attend secondary schools in your locality.not attending school in the district where your contemporary will attend can result in isolation for a child. All schools should be of equal excellence and then there would be no competition. Forming friendships with your contemporaries and having them near for after school and holidays help form lasting friendships , is inclusive and can also help with forming a vibrant neighborhood.
mayzday
2nd Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I had to go to school on the bus about 20 miles away.lived in a little village
Gill12345
2nd Mar 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Yes there were two local schools which you had to walk to approx 1 - 2 miles each way. The grammar school and the secondary modern school as they were called then. Both were only girl schools.
Jo Kingham
2nd Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes - I just went to the nearest school so basically we could walk there...Didn't everyone?

I just heard today my daughter got into the school of her choice - luckily it's a great school and we are in catchment. I would say of the friends I've heard from its about 50/50 in terms of who got their choice of schools. Now they have to appeal and go through that process and the kids are all upset as some of their friends got in etc etc. Life would be so much easier if we all just went to our nearest school again..... but sadly those days are gone
Archiebald
2nd Mar 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
My comprehensive school was about 15 minutes walk and was the closest school. Everyone in those days just used to walk or cycle to school. I think its crazy now that parents need to have this mad rush to get into the best schools but I do understand it and would do the same if my kids were youngsters. The government need to get a grip on schools that do not perform. I saw an interesting article last week that said in South Korea and Finland teachers are taken from the top 5% of academic pupils and paid very good wages. they should do the same here. Teachers should be paid a lot more than they are-teachers are the most important people in society without them there are no doctors, engineers, managers etc. Sort education out and the country goes up in leaps and bounds-rant over!

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